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How to Prevent Hot & Cold Spots | Alternatives to Closing Vents

by vscontent on March 3, 2017

How to Prevent Hot and Cold Spots - alternatives to closing vents
Do you have hot and cold spots in your home? If so, you may have tried blocking some vents in order to direct airflow to more needed areas.

We’ve been over the reasons why it is a bad idea to block your vents and registers at home. While you may think you are creating “HVAC zones” in your home, you are actually introducing air pressure problems since HVAC systems output the same amount of air no matter how many vents or registers are closed. You can get real HVAC zoning with variable speed blowers and multi-stage systems (learn more about HVAC zoning).

While closing vents may seem like a good way to solve temperature inconsistencies, there are plenty of alternative solutions you should consider. Here are some ways to solve hot and cold spots in the home that won’t do harm to your HVAC system.

Solve Hot & Cold Spots

Many people experience hot and cold spots in the home, making it seem nearly impossible to maintain a consistent temperature. Downstairs rooms are normally too cold and upstairs rooms too hot.

Luckily, if you have hot/cold spots or a decline in airflow, there may be a simple fix:

Blocked Vents and Registers – Go around your home and try to find all of your vents and registers. They are usually on a wall near the floor or in the floor itself. Sometimes, they are near the ceiling. Look behind furniture and under rugs to make sure none of them are blocked. You may have registers with a small lever that adjusts the louvers behind the grille. You can help direct the airflow a little bit, but do NOT close any of them. Make sure they are fully open and unobstructed.

Clogged Air Filter – Take out your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. Clogged air filters restrict airflow and can even cause the HVAC system to shut down if it becomes too clogged. Checking your air filter every 30 days and periodically replacing it (wait no longer than 3 months) is probably the best thing you can do to maintain your system.

Leaky Ducts – If you have leaky air ducts, you should seal them. According to Energy Star, the average home loses 20-30% of its conditioned air through leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Professional duct cleaning and sealing will provide a big boost in airflow, energy-efficiency, and indoor air quality.

Air Deflectors

If your vents are blowing right into large objects like furniture and other objects, it can get absorbed by these objects instead of the cold bodies in need of it. You can improve your home’s airflow and direct air where you need it with the inexpensive air deflectors from your local home improvement store (Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.). They usually attach very easily using magnetic strips.

If your vents are behind a sofa or bed, you can direct the air to the sides in order to get the conditioned air around the object. Consider adding vent extenders to your vents to help push the air further outward. They are also made of plastic and are easy to install.

Strategic Interior Design

In addition to using deflectors to direct air away from your furniture, you also want to be aware of where your vents are and if they are located in an efficient place.

If you have a floor vent located near a window or door for instance, you may be leaking a lot of your conditioned air outside. Search for air leaks around your vents and registers. Seal air leaks around your doors and windows.

When you are reconfiguring your furniture, make sure you know where all of your vents are. Use air deflectors and extenders and you will experience a more comfortable and energy-efficient home.

In addition to paying attention to where you air vents are, take notice of the location of your thermostat. Are there vents, windows, sunlight, or anything else near it that could affect its temperature reading? Is it completely level and operating correctly? If your thermostat isn’t in the right place, call your local HVAC technician to take a look.

When to Call an HVAC Professional

If you have a vent that blows through an unused space such as a garage or attic, talk to your HVAC technician about removing the vent and perhaps adding more airflow to the rooms in your home that need the warm air.

If none of these tips worked to solve the hot and cold spots in your home, it’s time to call a professional to take a look:

Ductwork – You may have leaky, damaged, or poorly connected ducts. A well-designed and properly sealed duct system will increase comfort and lower energy bills.

Improperly Sized Equipment – If your HVAC equipment is too small or too large for your home, it won’t be able to adequately heat or cool your space.

Home Design – According to Energy Star, nearly half of all new HVAC systems are improperly installed. Additionally, you may have had a recent renovation that divided up the space in a new way. Consider zoned ductless mini-split units to solve your temperature inconsistencies.

If you tried air deflectors and rearranging furniture, and still feel airflow or other HVAC problems, don’t hesitate to call us at (253) 292-3995 or schedule service online!


Pacific Air Systems offers year-round, 24/7 HVAC service.

Contact Pacific Air Systems Heating & Cooling at (253) 292-3995 for book your appointment online!

Since 1984, we’ve been proudly serving our communities in Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

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